Family law cases can be complex. In addition to the challenges of entering into an agreement that could affect your finances for years to come, you also have to deal with the stress and emotional aspects of legal actions involving your family members.
Divorce, child support, and custody cases in Australia are governed by specific, well-defined laws, including the Family Law Act 1975. It is essential to understand the nuances of this law. In divorce and custody cases, the law requires that you seek independent legal advice before you make an agreement involving a financial commitment.
Here is what you need to know to handle the complexities of family law cases.
Process for Family Law Cases in Australia
Many divorce cases can get settled without taking the matter before a judge. This step can make the stressful process slightly easier for those involved. In some cases, after an amicable separation, divorcing couples can apply for a fault divorce. Even these cases can be stressful because they require agreeing on a division of assets and financial support for shared children.
Even if the separation isn’t amicable, you can enlist the help of a legal expert to assist with the negotiation and mediation process. Often, couples are able to come to an agreement for asset division and financial support after less-formal negotiations or a more-structured mediation process.
With legal assistance, it is often possible to solve family law disputes before they get to court. Though mediation can be challenging, it is less stressful than having a judge hear your case. The Family Law Act 1975 states that those cases reaching court will get decided based on the best interest of any minor children involved.
Financial Support and Asset Allocation
There are four ways to settle family law cases in Australia.
The first is a non-legally binding agreement between a separated couple. This is possible in an amicable separation with a high level of trust.
The second option is a binding financial agreement. You need to make agreed-upon support payments, and if you fail to do so, it will result in legal action and potential penalties. It is necessary to carefully consider these agreements and get expert legal advice because once approved, you are committed to the payments unless the agreement is changed in court.
If this article has inspired you to think about your own unique situation and importantly what you and your family are going through right now please contact your advice professional.